A Statement on the Public Schools

Adopted by the Executive Board of the North Carolina Council of Churches, September 5, 2006

The North Carolina Council of Churches has a long history of support for racial justice. In fact, one of the issues which brought together the Council’s founders in 1935 was their opposition to segregation.

The Council also has a long history of support for public education. In 1986, “we reaffirm[ed] our support for the system of public education in North Carolina . . . Being a system of our government financed by public funds, responsive to the community as a whole, and open to all without distinctions as to race, creed, national origin or economic status, public education serves as a major cohesive force in our pluralistic society; and we believe that by training for citizenship, education serves as a primary means of strengthening our constitutional [democracy]. We believe that freedom of thought and learning in our public schools is the necessary precondition to political and religious freedom.”

Today we again reaffirm our support for the public schools as one of society’s primary vehicles for social, racial, and economic justice. Today we also voice our concern about the dangers of resegregation in the public schools and of a return to separate and unequal education. Current figures show that 40 of the 44 low-performing high schools in NC are made up primarily of students of color, while 43 of the 44 top performing schools are made up primarily of white students.

Recommendations:

  1. We agree to partner with the NC Justice Center, the NAACP and other organizations which are addressing inequity in the public schools.
  2. We request our member judicatories and congregations and the leaders of the congregations affiliated with our member bodies speak out for racial and economic justice in our public schools.
  3. We call on our elected leaders at the state and local levels to resist the trend towards re-segregation and to provide adequate funding to the public schools, especially those affected by theLeandro decision.
North Carolina Council of Churches North Carolina Council of Churches

The Council enables denominations, congregations, and people of faith to individually and collectively impact our state on issues such as economic justice and development, human well-being, equality, compassion and peace, following the example and mission of Jesus Christ. Learn more about our work here: www.ncchurches.org/about

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